Lorn Organic Growers want you

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Anyone wanting a taste of the good life can rent a vegetable bed from community growers near Taynuilt.

Organic Lorn Growers is in its seventh growing season on the site of a former nursery on Barguillean estate, Glen Lonan, and have spaces to fill.

Thirty five members have signed up so far. The youngest grower is just four-years-old and the oldest is nearly 80.

Growing experience is not essential but a commitment to staying organic, reusing and recycling wherever possible and caring for the beds-to-hire in seven of the group’s polytunnels is needed, says Lorn Growers chairman Marlyn Turbitt.

Although every council has a duty to provide allotment spaces if it can, the nearest sites are about 50 miles away.

Vicki Milway from North Connel has been helping keep the spare vegetable  beds weed free until they get takers.

‘It’s such a lovely place to get away to. It’s rewarding too, growing your own food. We’ve learned a lot from people since we started. People are happy to share time and advice, passing on tips as well as seeds and any surpluses,’ she said.

‘Getting your hands dirty as a grower is a great relaxation therapy,’ she added.

Another big benefit is the warm climate in the polytunnels that are at least ten to 15 degrees warmer than the Argyll weather outside. During last summer’s heatwave, the thermometer peaked in the 50s.

From kales to aubergines, Jerusalem artichokes to kiwi fruits, crops at the plots are keeping the initiative in top health.

Yearly rent per bed is £10, with £1 membership plus a grower’s fee towards keeping the project, with its ground soaking water system, running. There is a composting toilet on site.

Funding has helped grow the project which has now stopped expanding. Taynuilt Medical Practice, Tesco’s bag initiative and Carraghael wind farm have all been ‘amazing’ supporters, said Marlyn.

Being in such a remote spot can leave the tunnels exposed to wild weather. High winds have whipped off the polythene a few times, but community workdays have put it right.

The old nursery site, once run by Sam MacDonald, also has a blossoming orchard, with plans to put in benches and tables for growers to enjoy.

Anyone interested in becoming an organic Lorn grower should email lornorganicgrowers@gmail.com